How to make silk stocking milk tea

Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Recipe (Tights Tea)

  • 9 minutes
  • Preparation: 1 minutes,
  • Cook: 8 minutes
  • Yield: For 4 - 6
Reviews (102)

By Lindsey Goodwin

Updated 06/12/18

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Hong Kong milk tea is also known as "tights tea" or "silk stocking tea" as it is often brewed in a large tea sock that is reminiscent of tights. It has a smooth, creamy texture thanks to the condensed milk (or, if you opt for sweetened, condensed milk, it turns out beguilingly sweet and full-bodied).

As the name suggests, milk tea comes from Hong Kong. Milk tea comes from the British colonial rule over Hong Kong. The British tradition of afternoon tea, where black tea is served with milk and sugar, became popular in Hong Kong. Milk tea is similar, except that it is made with evaporated or condensed milk instead of regular milk. It is called "milk tea" to distinguish it from "Chinese tea" which is simply served. Outside of Hong Kong, it is known as Hong Kong-style milk tea.

One variation is iced tea. Frozen milk tea in cans or plastic bottles can be found in many convenience stores near Hong Kong such as 7-Eleven and Circle K.

Cha chow is milk tea made with condensed milk instead of condensed milk and sugar. As expected, its taste is sweeter than ordinary milk tea. Milk tea and coffee together is called Yuan Yang.

Really good milk tea is very smooth (creamy and full-bodied). Tasty milk tea also has some white frothy residue in the lip of the cup after drinking some of it. This white foam means that the concentration of butterfat in the condensed milk used is high enough.

The taste and texture of "Hong Kong" style milk tea could be influenced by the milk used. For example, some Hong Kong cafes prefer to use a filled version of milk, meaning it's not just plain condensed milk (like most retail brands), but a combination of skimmed milk and soybean oil.

Below is a simple variation on classic Hong Kong-style tea blends. For added enjoyment, use it as a base for Yin-Yang coffee tea.

What you will need

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 TBSP. black tea leaves (preferably a bold Ceylon tea)
  • 1 small (14-ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk, or 14 ounce condensed milk, plus sugar (to taste)

How to do it

  1. Combine the water and tea leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat. Stir in the pickled sweetened condensed milk. Back to the heat.
  4. Bring back to the boil. Simmer for another 3 minutes.
  5. Strain and serve hot or (optionally) chill and serve over ice. Small glasses are ideal.
Dietary guidelines (per serving)
Total fat6 g
Saturated fat4 g
Unsaturated fat2 g
cholesterol22 mg
sodium85 mg
carbohydrates36 g
Fiber0 g
protein5 g
(The nutritional information in our recipes is calculated from an ingredient database and should be viewed as an estimate. Individual results may vary.)